Table of Contents
Diamond Back Overview
Diamond Back Bicycles was founded as a BMX brand in 1977 by Western States Imports (WSI) in Newbury Park, California, by Mitchell M. Weiner and Junya (Cozy) Yamakoshi 1). WSI also sold road bikes under the Centurion brand.
Mitchell Weiner was born in 1932 in Romania and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16. In 1969, while running an import business, Raleigh UK asked him to import 2000 Grand Prix's from Asia and then Raleigh backed out of the deal, accidentally turning Mitchell into a bike reseller. 2)
None of the bikes actually is made by WSI. Ever since it entered the bicycle business, WSI has been strictly an importer and distributor.
“Boxes in, boxes out. Everything else is marketing,” said WSI’s executive vice president, Michael L. Bobrick. latimes, 1986
Why DB? Their answer: It's not about the bike. 3)
1982 Ridge Runner
Note that the brand is “Diamond Back” with a space and not “DiamondBack”, nor “Diamondback.” 4)
1982 Ridge Runner retrobike
1983 Mean Streak
As Bobrick 5) said, “Everything else is marketing.” Diamond Back tried focusing marketing to the easily angered and sold many bikes. Almost identical to the Ridge Runner, with newer derailleurs.
1983 Mean Streak boisebicycleproject
1984 Trail Streak
The streaks continued, with “Mean Streak”, “Trail Streak”, “Sand Streak” (cruiser) and “Silver Streak” (bmx).
Note the unusual pump pegs, which marks it as a close cousin to the 1983 FMSA.
1984 Trail Streak mtbr
The streaks kept on coming with “Hot Streak” (bmx) and “Fleet Streak” (hybrid),
Meanwhile Diamond Back released a couple of pretty good mountain bikes with their Apex and Ascent. Note the full Shimano XT level components.
1985 Apex |gdctral
Factory chromed and clear coated. Shimano RD-L512-SGS touring rear derailleur (1985)
The workingman's race bike. 1988 DiamondBack catalog bikeman archive
1986 Ascent pedalroom
Top of the line Diamond Back. Full XT group, Japanese aluminum frame. Original tires were only 26×1.5. In the era of lightness performance choices were left to the aftermarket.
1987 Arrival classiccycleus
1988 Ascent EX
1988 Ascent EX DiamondBack's “mid-range trail rider” Deore RD-MT60 (1987-88)
1988 Ascent EX reddit
The lowest in the range which DiamondBack considers off road worthy. If this is an 1989, it should have a Shimano Light Action L554 rear (1989-1995+) and 26×1.9 tires. No DiamondBack MTBs came with tires >= 2“
1989 Sorrento facebook
Unknown derailleur in the Exage family. The name is likely in honor of VVA's ground breaking 1979 Topanga! downhill racer.
1990 Topanga retrobike